By 90Min
December 24, 2017

Spanish league-leaders Barcelona are losing hope of securing a deal to bring Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho to the Nou Camp in January.

That's the view of Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.

Balague's comments come after Coutinho bagged his 11th goal of the season in Friday night's thrilling 3-3 draw against Arsenal, to continue his impressive form so far this campaign.

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Coutinho's future at Anfield has been a constant topic of discussion ever since the Catalan giants failed in their attempts to sign the Brazilian throughout the summer window.

Reports suggested Barcelona offered the Merseyside club as much as £138m for the services of the Brazilian, however Liverpool stood firm in their refusal to sell despite Coutinho's self-confessed desire to make the move.

Now it seems Barça will have to look to alternative transfer targets as, following their 3-0 victory over Real Madrid in Saturday's El Clasico, Balague told Sky Sports: "Liverpool don't want to sell Coutinho.

"That's where they are right now, so Barcelona are not optimistic about the possibility of Coutinho going there."

Barcelona seem to have identified Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann as an alternative target to Coutinho. In reference to the French striker, Balague added: "They are willing to pay the €100m that he will cost from the 1st of June.


"They have met his family, even his sister, who looks after his financial affairs, which is why Atlético Madrid have gone to FIFA and said that this is not supposed to happen."

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"Barcelona have got Griezmann as number one target, at the same level of Coutinho, but I don't think they can get both players."

As the January window approaches, news earlier this week that Coutinho's move to Spain was edging closer appear to be wide of the mark as the ongoing saga continues.

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